Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring break?

Ok...I understand that this week is spring break. I understand that people go on trips, take it easy, and generally unwind. What I do not understand is first of all, where is Spring? And second of all, where is my break? Haha...I am on campus working on a presentation piece grounded in Revit that is to be presented next Tuesday and of course I am the only one here. Thank God for Pandora and decent coffee down the hall. On a brighter note, I saw my first robin yesterday here in Wisconsin so apparently spring is just flying under the radar for now. It IS supposed to hit 50 by Saturday so that is looking promising!
Note to self: Never install a new hard drive during midterms. Not sure what I was even thinking...scrambling to re install all of the software I need to finish the 5 projects I am juggling...while of course training for another 50k slated for the end of April. Love it :)
I received a couple of new books lately that are both wonderful collections to my library- the first is Transformational Thought by Jason McLennan, founder of the Living Building Challenge. DEEP reading, wonderful stuff to cover before going on a long run on the trails, I am absolutely loving it. The second is another SketchUp tutorial type book based on doing renderings, and using Ruby Scripting. This one is by Daniel Tal who has another nice one concerning site design using SketchUp. Haven't had much of a chance to check that one out yet...mostly because I am sitting here at school blogging working on my Revit presentation...:)
I am pretty excited to go check out apts this weekend in MKE...the winds of change are blowing something fierce :)
Time to stop procrastinating and get back to it...
(yes, the famous traveling green cup)

Monday, March 11, 2013


Midterms already???

Hard to believe, but there is only about 8 weeks or so left in the semester. My last semester here at Madison College, which brings about its own set of emotions. In June I will be moving to Milwaukee and joining the Architecture program out there. That will most likely be my home for the next 5-6 years, until I finish my masters. They have a fantastic dual masters program for M.Arch and Urban Planning, and that is my goal.
My OTHER goal is to learn to sail. The UW has an awesome sailing club out there, and since I will be living so close to Lake Michigan I thought it would be foolish not to take advantage of it! I am very excited to get started on this new adventure!
My ultra running has taken a pretty substantial break, however I am training for an upcoming 50k that is scheduled for the end of April called the Chippewa Moraine Ultramarathon hosted up by Eau Claire. Beautiful area, and the race director is a friend of mine. This race was the first ultra I had ever run, and so I have made it a point to get up there every year and run it again :) so far the streak remains unbroken!
Some recent additions on my journey of Architecture have included joining the Milwaukee chapter of AIAS, joining ASAI (American Society of Architectural Illustrators at the nudge of Mike Lin) and joining the SAI (Society for American Illustrators). I am also planning on going to Las Vegas in July to be a TA for Mike Lin's upcoming 7 day seminar. This will be interesting because I will be on the other side of the table this time, getting to experience the seminar from a completely different angle! If anyone has not heard of Mike Lin, do yourself a favor and check out his website called It is free to join and there are a ton of helpful tips and tutorials on there. He teaches hand rendering techniques using a variety of different media, and his illustrations are amazing. Check out the gallery and you will see what I mean!
Here is one that I did after I got back from his last seminar in January which was hosted down in Kansas...
This was done using Lepen on trace over the 2pt perspective chart, then transferred to 100s marker paper and rendered using Chartpak markers and pastel for the sky. This was to be used in a presentation for possible renovations for the Midway Barn Complex out at Taliesin.

Being able to sketch and render is vital to being able to transfer ideas quickly from ones head to paper. Even with the speed of current software programs, there are the perimeters that are always present no matter which software you use. For schematic design and for the creative process to really get flowing, you need to sketch. The most valuable lesson I learned at Mike Lins seminar was learning to sketch in 3d, or perspective rather. This included sketching in 1pt and 2pt perspective. This process is so liberating, that after learning it I did not want to turn on Revit for almost 2 weeks be able to sketch on the fly, to scale, and truly express design concepts AS they come to you, is why Architects draw. Why designers draw, and probably why every child at some point or another draws or scribbles or whatever you want to call it (and this includes on the walls, of course). I feel lucky to have returned to this state in my life :) and am now apparently attempting to make a career out of it. Time will only tell...